DSHS Testing Win & HB 1153 Update

Good news for interpreters on two fronts:

Increasing Language Access in Public Schools

House Bill 1153: Increasing Language Access in Public Schools passed out of the Senate Ways & Means and is in Rules awaiting a vote on the Senate floor. This vote must happen by March 4th.

Big Win! DSHS Testing to Resume

DSHS hasn’t tested interpreters for certification since March of 2020 due to the pandemic. Interpreters who want to go back to work have been hurting.

This is the message interpreters in our Union-Management Committee have been relaying in meetings with DSHS, most recently on February 17th.

We've also been running a petition demanding DSHS begin testing again, so thank you to everyone who signed that. DSHS has finally responded.

See the notice below for details.

Breaking: LTC will resume limited testing of public candidates in Olympia and Yakima in April 2022.

Why is House Bill 1153 Important?

Interpreters United (WFSE) President Quân Trần testified in support of HB 1153 on Saturday in the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

It passed out of that committee on February 28th.

School districts in Washington rely on students, family members, and unqualified staff to interpret for parents with limited English proficiency (LEP).

HB 1153 would create a credential (at no cost to interpreters) allowing spoken language interpreters who are already DSHS or AOC credentialed to render services in schools.

If it DOES pass, HB 1153 will:

  • Create more and better-paying jobs for already DSHS certified interpreters right here in Washington state
  • Ensure our schools are serving every family equitably
  • Fill a critical gap in language access

If it DOESN'T pass, it will: 

  • Allow the equity gap for LEP parents to grow
  • Open the door to private organizations that are creating “national educational interpreter credentials" that cost interpreters hundreds of dollars

Political Strength Matters for Unions ​

Why is it important for your union to be effective in the state Legislature? It is our elected officials that vote YES or NO on the contract we will negotiate with L&I.

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